Save the Date

In 2003 my husband and I tied the knot.  We have been through a lot in the last ten years and want to celebrate the decade in style.  On Friday the second of August, 2013 we will be renewing our vows in Bath, England.  We have invited our closest friends from all over the world to Save the Date for the occasion. 

This is our formal Save the Date that I made to send out electronically to be 'Eco Friendly'.

Thanks to a my tripod and self timer this is our Self Portrait informal 'Save the Date' photoshoot.

The Courtship
Pepperdine U. (Malibu, CA)
Ryan and I met and became friends through the theatre ministry group at Harding University,  called Fisher's Men. It was the fall of 2001 and Ryan was a sophomore and I was an incoming Freshman.  Just days after the tragedy of September 11th, we were on a Fisher's Men trip to perform at a church out of state, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  We were both unaware that we had secretly formed crushes on one another that weekend.  I am not certain how much we talked on that long van ride, except for the memory that I slept a long time on his shoulder.    After performing together in a skit entitled 'Pick-up Lines', it did not take long for the rest of the group to start teasing that we should date. Though it was not till December that Ryan asked me to go with him to his Christmas function for Delta Chi Delta.  It was on February 8, the weekend before Valentines Day, we had our first official date.  (The next weekend we would be gone on a Fisher's Men trip to Austin, Texas.)  We went out for dinner first and then saw a play on campus.  I remember during dinner being really nervous that I would say something stupid.  Ryan remembers being at dinner thinking, this is the girl I want to marry.  After our first date, we spent every day together and became pretty much, inseparable.  The highlight of our relationship is when we started praying and reading together. God was the focus of both of our lives, but when we made him the focus of our relationship it strengthened us and our relationship.  Years ago I expressed how this was the best thing we ever did for our relationship.   With 8+ years of marriage I have to still agree with this fact.

The Engagement
Little Rock, AR
After a semester of dating, Ryan spent the summer working at home and I spent 9 weeks of it in Australia.  Though we kept up our praying and reading over the phone, the time apart strained our relationship, leaving doubts to what the future would hold.  When we got back together weeks before school started, the answer was quite clear to us both.  We would be spending the rest of our lives together.  On our seventh month anniversary, Ryan took us to Memphis, Tennessee to spend the day.  We took a ride on a horse carriage, and he gave me a bible.  The name on it was "Bonnie Rose Aherin".  He then gave me the most beautiful titanium suspension ring and asked me to marry him.  I said "Yes" and the rest is history.  At first we wanted to get married on November 27th because both of our parents were married on that day (as well as one set of his grandparents and our parents were married the same year).  Though the coming November was too close by and to wait till the following November seemed far away, and we didn't want the hassle of planning it around the holidays.  We ended up choosing a date at the end of the summer, and I started planning the wedding of my dreams.

Our Wedding: The Wedding Weekend
On August 2, 2003 Ryan and Bonnie Rose were joined together as husband and wife.  Did you miss 
out on the whole occassion or just want to reminisce?  

The Ceremony
After 11 months of planning and stressing out, the wedding day finally came around.  To facilitate everyone coming from out of town, we had a weekend wedding celebration.  Starting on a Wednesday night we had a weekend of activities planned.  I  really wanted to be able to relax and  just hang out with all the guests. The ceremony was held at the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  Our reception followed at the Little Rock Air Force base in Jacksonville.  Our colors were a burgundy wine and white and we each had 7 attendants.  The music was mostly all by Danny Elfman, with most of the songs being from the Edward Sissorhands soundtrack.  I wanted a very theatrical feel for the ceremony. The song I walked down the aisle to was called the Grand Finale. My song played for 1 minute and 35 seconds before I even walked out. The reason being was at that point it got really quiet and that is when they opened the doors showing me for the first time.  Then as I start to make my way down the aisle with my dad, it gets really loud and is the climatic part of the song.  It was very dramatic and everyone commented how awesome the "wedding soundtrack" was for the ceremony.  I wrote up the wedding ceremony and Ryan and I both wrote our own vows which was very special and very meaningful for us.  We also exchanged roses after lighting our unity candle. In the
 end we walked out to Sara Brightman's Deliever Me.  The ceremony was perfect and  very emotional.  We didn't cry, but we were just so full of happiness because at that moment everything was just perfect. 

Jacksonville Air Base
The Reception
 The reception was not as we had envisioned or planned for, which is the nicest way to put it.  A lot of things went wrong or simply didn't happen.  We did our first dances, the bouquet and garter toss, and we "pretended" to cut our cake.  Which was the best thing about the reception.  The cake, a 4 tier castle made of fondant, red velvet cake, and cream cheese filling, was extremely gorgeous and the best tasting cake I ever had.  The 5 hour party of lots of music and dancing ended up being hardly 2 hours, no dancing-dancing, and rushed about.  But I had fun seeing everyone who came out and taking pictures with the most amazing photographer, Angela Alexander, who was so helpful through out the whole thing.  Now its just a memory and thats all we are left with to cherish.  It was a lot more about creating the memories, than partying so hard no one really remembered it.  

Wedding Details:
I spent 11 months planning every detail of my dream wedding. I had to keep to a small budget, 
but I was not going to say no to what I wanted.  For example, the dress I ended up wearing was
a custom made Bridal gown for $500, and I got to choose the fabric from the seamstress.  I
 went with lots of small details, while adding personalization to the big day.  Here are a few of 
the details that we had in our wedding:

The wedding invitations that we made from scratch during our Spring Break.  We bought 
most of the materials online (including faux wax and a stamper to use on the back of the wine 
tri-fold) and few items at a craft store.  We printed out the invites off the computer and used the 
Claddadah symbol in the wax stamp, the ink stamp, and the embosser.  The square shaped 
invitations needed more postage, but they were still a lot cheaper than regular invites.

I bought this journal at Barnes&Noble for under $20 and the feather pen was on clearance 
at a bridal store.  The cover of the book looked like an aged old story book, while the 
inside pages were uneven and had torn edges.  A simple, but unique guestbook.

My mum and her friend Debbie made the flowergirls' dresses from a McCalls's pattern for 
ferries.  They had iridescent wings, halo head pieces, ribbon tied around their ankles, a 
huge red rose to carry, and lots of glitter.  They may have just been the cutest ones attending 
the wedding.

 These were two of my inspirations for the Bridesmaids.

The bridesmaids all wore a one piece dress with a corset bodice.  I made matching garters 
and organza with pearl necklaces for the girls to wear.  They wore white ballet slippers with 
matching wine coloured ribbon (to look like pointe shoes).  They looked very pretty and  
elegant.  The photo above was a rendition of a photo from my mum and dad's wedding.

These are the bouquets that were made by the mothers and bridesmaids.  The first is my bridal 
bouquet which held fifty black magic roses tied together by white ribbon.  The maid of honor's 
bouquet consisted of black magic and white roses with baby's breath.  The bridesmaids 
carried smaller bouquets of white roses with babysbreath.

 We found a fake tall red rose for each flower girl to carry and the mothers held miniature 
bouquets with black magic and baby's breath.  This was exactly what I wanted and came 
up to about $300. This was a steal compared to my quote from the local florist, and that was
for a flower selection that I did not even like very much.  We bought all our flowers from a 
wholesaler online, and it saved us a lot of money.   

4 Tier Wedding Cake as described above in the story.

The groomsmen wore white tuxes with wine colored vests.  We wanted a prince charming type of feel with our 
groomsmen and non traditional look for them.  The really looked very handsome and pulled off
 the look for our fairytale wedding.  Ryan also had a 'groomsmaid' and I had a 'bridesman', 
each wore the gender appropriate attire.  Ryan's roommate from Uni is quite short, and he 
ended up being our 'Keeper of the Rings' since we did not have any ring bearers. He wore a 
suit similar's to Ryan, though different and keeping with the look of the groomsmen.  I joked
that they all looked like P.Diddy. 

The Honeymoon

Cozumel, Mexico
We spent seven days at an all inclusive resort in Cozumel, Mexico for our Honeymoon. We stayed in a really nice hotel, with a beautiful view from our balcony.  We went to the hotel's pool and beach to relax a lot during our stay.  Ryan and I also spent an evening on a pirate boat (though not as exciting as it sounds) and where we had lobster, played games, and had a corny yet lively pirate show.  One afternoon we rented an old jeep and drove to the other side of the island where there are no buildings. It is just a long strip of white sandy beach with hardly any other people in sight.  We stopped for a bite to eat at a shack, decorated in honour of Bob Marley.  One of the excursion tours that Ryan and I took, was to Xel ha.  There are five underground streams here that meet the 

Honeymoon in 2003
In the water are tons of wild life to explore by snorkeling.  This was Ryan's first time to snorkel, and my second (the first time during my summer in Australia).  Ryan didn't feel too well and spent part of the day sleeping in a hammock while I fulfilled a life long dream of swimming with dolphins.  The exciting part of the day was swimming with the barracuda.  Ryan & I also got to stop at some Mayan ruins later, which was a walled city overlooking the ocean.  The first week of being husband and wife was absolutely wonderful.  But we got to leave with a small parting gift.  Or should I say, Ryan did.  Just a couple of hours before we were supposed to leave for the airport, we headed from the beach to the hotel where were headed to take a shower.  That is when Ryan tripped over some broken tiles and cut open his toe.  The broken tiles looked like they had been there for months, yet had no warning signs around the area.  Ryan's toe immediately began spilling blood, until his whole sandal was filled with blood.  Eventually the hotel took us to the hospital (and paid the bill) so that Ryan could get the needed stitches.  They made it to the airport just in time to check in and made their flight home.  Since Ryan couldn't drive with his foot, I finally learned how to drive a manual car during that 6 hour drive from Dallas to Searcy.  It was a long drive, but worth the seven days in Cozumel on our honeymoon.  It was unforgettable. 

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